Preventative Maintenance that Most People Skip
Don’t Forget these Important Maintenance Items
We often take our vehicles for granted. It feels great to jump into a new car or truck, and for a while you take meticulous care of it. But over time, we tend to forget some of the more important maintenance issues. The oil gets changed, but what about many of the other necessities for a smooth running, and safe vehicle?
Maintenance goes beyond regular oil changes and semi-regular washes and waxes. Maintenance will ensure that the vehicle lasts as long as you do.
Read Your Owner’s Manual
How many times have you actually read the owner’s manual in your new vehicle? Likely, nobody has; that thing is huge. Fortunately we don’t have to read the entire thing. There are some key points that we need to be aware of on any new vehicle.
Oil – Your manual will tell you what viscosity of oil you should be using for optimum engine performance.
Oil Changes – The manual will also tell you how often you should be changing your oil (it’s not always every 3,000 miles as the old adage says).
Filters – When to change them and what kind to use.
Belts – Most need replaced every 60,000 miles… but not always.
Fuel – Are you putting the cheapest fuel into your vehicle? Your rig may be designed to run on a higher octane.
Finding these items in your manual can save you a world of hurt later… especially if you’ve used the wrong product and the warranty becomes void.
Check Your Cabin Air Filter
Most people know about the engine air filter. It’s often replaced whenever you have the oil changed (they only cost a few bucks and on most vehicles take less than a minute to swap out). But when’s the last time you replaced the cabin air filter in your vehicle?
New vehicles have an air filter that cleans the air coming into the cabin (passenger area). Often these are located behind the glove box, and they’re pretty easy to access. Take a look at our previous post that has a short video on how to swap them in a Toyota Rav4.
Replace Your Gas Cap
At a part-time job I had in college, a co-worker told a story of taking their vehicle to the mechanic. The check engine light came on, and they weren’t sure what was going on. The mechanic looked it all over, and called them in the afternoon. The diagnosis, “Your gas cap was loose.” It cost $149 for the mechanic to tighten it, as they had spent over an hour going through the diagnostics.
Gas caps can wear out, or if dropped, they can crack. When they don’t seal properly, it can cause the check engine light to come on. Don’t make a $149 mistake. Make sure that your gas cap is tight, and the rubber gaskets aren’t worn out.
Swap the Brake Pads
Brakes are tricky. You can’t give a number of miles or a length of time to determine how long they will last. If you drive a ton of highway miles, your brakes will last a lot longer than if you drive entirely city miles. If you drive fast and stop fast, your brakes won’t last as long as if you’re slow and steady. That’s precisely why wear indicators are built into the brake pads.
When your brake pads have minimal life to them, a little wire will touch the metal disc. This causes a shrieking scratching sound that is impossible to ignore. And you shouldn’t! At this point your brakes are approaching the end… wait much longer and they will fail completely.
Big Sky Collision Center Does Auto Body Repairs in Billings, Montana
Here at Big Sky we love vehicles. That said, we don’t do maintenance or mechanical work on them. We do auto body repairs. But if you neglect the regular maintenance, you set yourself up for a crash. Then you will have to bring your vehicle to us to have it restored to full factory safety standards. Trust us when we say it’s a lot cheaper to do the preventative maintenance.